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How to Prepare for Disaster: The Financial Challenges

Natural and man-made disasters can strike at any time. A world that seems stable and secure one moment can descend into chaos the next, and Americans who think they are somehow immune to this are living in a fool’s paradise. For those who are paying close attention to world events, however, preparations have already begun. And while no one hopes for the worst, no matter how dissatisfied they may be with the status quo, the fact remains that storm clouds are on the horizon. The pace of natural disasters is clearly accelerating while American society appears to be teetering on the brink of collapse.

With so many dangers lurking in stealthily in the shadows, anyone concerned with the welfare of their family needs to begin making financial plans for future emergencies now. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, and wildfires are just a few of the natural disasters capable of leaving a path of total destruction in their wake and these may seem like a picnic compared to what circumstances could be like following an economic collapse, environmental meltdown, nuclear terrorist attack, or outbreak of war. The threats are so many now, and potentially so severe, that no one who cares about the survival of their family can afford to wait any longer to begin planning for future catastrophe.

Disaster Insurance
One of the basic steps to take is to purchase insurance policies that cover damages caused by natural disaster. Sometimes disaster-related costs will be covered by regular homeowners’ insurance policies, and sometimes it will require a separate policy, depending on geographic location and the type of natural disaster from which protection is being sought. So while tornado damage, for example, would be included as a part of a regular policy, flood insurance must be purchased separately through the government-backed National Flood Insurance Program. But people should be aware of the types of natural disasters that are capable of striking their home areas, and they should take out insurance against any legitimate threats.

Barter Networks
Disaster insurance might actually be enough to protect many people from the financial consequences of natural disaster. However, man-made disasters have the potential to be much more comprehensive and disruptive to people’s lives and no one is selling insurance to protect people from anarchy, war, or the breakdown of societal order. If a devastating man-made disaster should strike, one of the best assets people have is their own God-given natural abilities.

Everyone has talents they can share with others, and those talents have a value. Before money became the only accepted medium of exchange, most people used their abilities to produce goods and services that could be traded for other goods and services. Ultimately, all economic systems are based on barter, no matter how much the presence of money may obscure that reality. Money functions as a mediator, in effect; but unfortunately, because all banks from the Federal Reserve on down charge interest when they add new funds to the money supply, money acts like a Trojan horse carrying extra debt with it wherever it goes, which is one big reason why we are in the kind of trouble we are in today. One bright spot of societal collapse is that it could put the money racket run by the government and the private banks out of business, allowing barter and trade to become a legitimate alternative once again.

In anticipation of this possible future reality, people who are aware of the troubles ahead should begin to network now, sharing ideas about how they can use their skills and abilities to produce things that the others may need, in case of emergency. Those who are living off the grid have probably already discovered a myriad of ways to be self-sufficient, so they should be ahead of the game. Of course, it is not necessary to wait until things completely fall apart to set up a barter system with friends, neighbors and trusted associates. Now would be as good a time as any to start creating alternative micro-economies based on free (and interest-free) mutual exchange.

Setting up an Emergency Fund
While bartering can fill certain needs, some kind of a monetary economy will no doubt continue to exist even after the worst imaginable catastrophe. And of course natural disasters are localized, so those unfortunate enough to be caught up in this kind of emergency are going to need some kind of assets to make it through the difficult times, even if they have disaster insurance.

An emergency fund is critical for anyone concerned about post-disaster survival. Of course, finding the money to set aside for such a fund can be a challenge for just about everyone, to say the least. Setting up a small business on the side has never been easier, however, thanks to the Internet, and this can be an excellent way to raise money for an emergency fund. Anyone hoping to survive an emergency situation should have enough money set aside to get them through at least 3-6 months.

But if society implodes and descends into chaos and anarchy, normal monetary assets may prove all but useless. Paper money in such a scenario may not be worth the paper it is printed on because of hyperinflation and profiteering in a time of extreme shortages. That is why an emergency fund should be kept in precious metals (i.e., silver and gold).

As our economy has fallen deeper and deeper into debt over the past few years, the price of gold in particular has been going steadily up. This is because precious metals are recognized everywhere as natural money, and as the value of the dollar goes down the price of real wealth naturally rises. Less than 4% of the American public owns any precious metals, and most of who “own” gold only have it in the form of certificates, which would likely prove all but useless if the institutions of society were imploding. Real gold and silver, especially if held in the form of coins that could be easily exchanged, are the best kind of money anyone could possibly possess in times of catastrophe. Gold and silver coins would be accepted everywhere in the midst of even the most terrible disaster and anyone possessing gold and silver would be able to buy all the critical supplies they needed to survive from merchants eager to obtain real money.

Survival is the Imperative
Future natural and man-made disasters will claim many lives and leave many broken and helpless people behind, just as they have done throughout recorded history. But with disasters there are always survivors, and anyone who is paying attention to the signs and is intelligent enough to take action now to protect their loved ones against the threat of total calamity has an excellent chance to survive even the most destructive tempests.

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